Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tarik AKA the Architect's Top 10

I do love to procrastinate. Here is my top 10 albums of 2010.

10. Maximum Balloon - Maximum Balloon

I have to say this has to be one of 2010's most overlooked albums. How can you go wrong with an album by TV On The Radio's producer Dave Sitek. The album is an impressive mixture of sounds and genres with an guest vocalist roster. David Bryne, Little Dragon, Karen O, Theophilus London, Tunde Adimpe and others brings Dave Sitek productions to a whole new level.

Highlight Tracks:
"Young Love" feat. Little Dragon
"Communion" feat. Karen O
"Apartment Wrestling" feat. David Bryne
"Groove Me" feat. Theophlius London

9. Gayngs - Relayted
Next up is the midwestern supergroup Gayngs. I couldn't get their sultry, sex-filled sounds out of my head. Seeing them live at Turner Hall secured them in my top 10 of 2010. Also the fact that I played a show with its founder Ryan Olson's former band Digitata when I lived in Minneapolis.

Highlight Tracks
"Faded High"
"The Gaudy Side Of Town"
"No Sweat"

8. Big Boi - "Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty"
This has to be best hip hop album of 2010. Big Boi did not stray from his Atlanta roots on this album. Big Boi's delivery skills is one of the most underrated.

Highlight Tracks:
"Fo Yo Sorrows" feat. George Clinton, Too Short & Sam Chris
"Daddy Fat Sax"
"Turns Me On" feat. Sleepy Brown, & Joi
"General Patton"

7. Andreya Triana - "Lost Where I Belong"
When I first heard the lovely, talented Andreya's voice it was on Flying Lotus' track "Tea Leaf Dancers." The song blew me away and it was on repeat in 2008. Her debut release is one of the best and most refreshing soul releases of 2010. Produced by one of my favorite producers Simon Green aka Bonobo.

Highlight tracks:
"A Town Called Obsolete"
"Draw The Stars"
"Lost Where I Belong"
"Far Closer"

6. Sleigh Bells - Treats
One of the most hyped duo of 2010, and they definitely lived up to that hype with their crunchy, hip hop infused sound. The duo's background is also interesting. One is from a girl pop band and the other from a punk band - a match made in heaven.

Higlight tracks:
"Rill Rill"
"Crown On the Ground"
"A/B Machines"

5. Quadron - Quadron
Who would have thought that such an amazing futuristc R&B record would come from Denmark. This duo created a lush and sensual record. Quadron's singer Coco voice should be a contender for best soul or jazz vocalist at the Grammy's. It is an album you can play all the way through many times over.

Highlight Tracks:
"Herfra Hvor Vi Star"
"Buster Keaton"

4. Cee Lo Green - Lady Killer
Cee Lo just can't do know wrong. He is the second artist from my hometown of Atlanta. From his days with Atlanta's Goodie Mob to being part of the very successful Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo is one of the most versatile artists in the 21st century. He is probably the only artist that could take a four letter word and make it fun for all. Lady Killer is what a pop album should be.

Highlight Tracks
"F*ck You"
"Bright Lights, Bigger City"
"No One's Gonna Love You" (Band Of Horses Cover)

3. James Blake - CMYK & Klavierwerke EPs
He is electronic music answer to Bon Iver. He produced one of my favorite tracks of 2010 called CMYK, which used samples of Aaliyah and Kelis. His productions are minimal, lush, and soulful all at the same time. He not only produces, but he has an amazing voice that conjurs the haunting voice of Justin Vernon. His forthcoming debut album is one the most anticipated releases for 2011. Check out his cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Soul."

Highlight tracks:
"I Only Know"

2. Janelle Monae - "The Archandroid"
What can I say about this album other than DAMN!!! I have been following Janelle since her single "Lettin' Go" that appeared on Big Boi's "Purple Ribbon All-Stars" back in 2007. An another Atlanta artist that is breaking the mold. Archandroid is soul record with a broadway musical foundation. Then it is her live shows that solidifies her place in history. Think Bjork meets James Brown.

Highlight Tracks:
"Dance or Die" feat. Saul Williams
"Tightrope" feat. Big Boi
"Cold War"
"Come Alive"

1. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
2010's best album of the year comes Alice Coltrane's nephew Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus. He brings a jazz sensiblities to electronic music and hip hop for that matter. Cosmogramma is one of the most original releases in 2010 that will be look upon as a classic many years from now.

Highlight Tracks:
"Do the Astral Plane"
"...And The Wold Laughs With You" feat. Thom Yorke
"Computer Face/Pure Being"

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